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Nursing Program History
The Health Science Education Department at Raritan Valley Community College was originally organized in 1969 as the Nursing Department and graduated its first class in 1972. Since its inception, the nursing program has been accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission, (3343 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 850, Atlanta, Georgia 30326, 404.975.5000, Fax 404.975.5020, www.nlnac.org) and licensed by the New Jersey Board of Nursing.
In 2002, our scope expanded to include the Associate of Applied Science degree in Ophthalmic Science and Certificate Programs for Fitness and Medical Coding. Articulation agreements exist between the nursing department and Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, College of St. Elizabeth, New York University and Drexel University. In 1997, the Department was named the Center of Excellence, in recognition of the outstanding achievements of the nursing students and the nursing faculty. The University Center at RVCC was created in 2001, and through this center nursing students can work towards a BSN from Fairleigh-Dickinson University, Seton Hall University, and Kean University. and licensed by the New Jersey Board of Nursing.
Nursing Program Philosophy
The philosophy reflects faculty beliefs about:
- Nursing education
- Practice of Associate Degree Graduates
We believe that humans are complex, unified, whole individuals with physiological, emotional, cognitive, spiritual, social, cultural, racial, and ethnic dimensions, which are related and linked. As member of contemporary society, humans are affected by issues and changes in the local and global community.
Health care must be designed to respond to client needs in the local and global community through efforts that promote wellness and prevent disease. Nurses must consider how current social trends and societal changes affect healthcare delivery systems and the professional role of nurses. They must also identify the changes that are needed within the various delivery systems and they must be an integral force in the change process. As change occurs in the health care environment, nurses must anticipate the direction of the change and support innovative patterns of responding to the needs of clients, families, and the community.
Nursing education is a lifelong process that begins with a progressive course of learning activities which are designed to teach nursing practice competencies, based on clinical practice standards. The desired outcome of this process is to prepare a safe and competent entry-level nurse who is accountable for clinical decisions, nursing actions, and professional behaviors .
It is critical that an interdisciplinary approach to education be provided through a rigorous educational process, which includes general education courses, arts and humanities, and nursing science. Students must be provided with opportunities to participate in intellectual inquiry in the classroom as well as the community at large. Nursing educators facilitate the educational process by acting as partners with students in the teaching/learning experience .
Through didactic as well as experiential teaching methods, student nurses learn to care for clients from diverse backgrounds. They are prepared to mediate between systems and consumers, consider cost containment needs, utilize technology effectively, and use effective clinical decision making skills. Integrated throughout the curriculum, students demonstrate their ability to value others through caring and honoring clients, families and colleagues.
Practice of Associate Degree Graduates
To function effectively in a society and a health care delivery system that are experiencing rapid changes, the Associate Degree graduate must demonstrate cognitive, psychomotor and affective skill acquisitions in the core components/competencies that characterize the roles of the nurse: provider of care, manager of care and member within the discipline of nursing. These components and competencies are based on the Educational Competencies for Graduates of Associate Degree by the Council of Associate Degree Nursing Competencies Task Force, National League for Nursing, 2000 and the NCLEX-RN Test Plan .
In the provider of care role, the Associate Degree graduate responds to human needs and evidenced wellness states through the practice of client-centered carepractices within the legal and ethical requirements and standards and the scope of practice of nursing in the state ofNew Jersey. Although direct care is provided for clients, nurses are also concerned with clients’ relationships with families, groups and the local and global community. Practice is carried out in varied settings with therapeutic interventions based on clinical practice standards.
As a manager of care, the Associate Degree graduate provides for the health care needs of group(s) of clients through direct or delegated care. In this role it is essential that the graduate utilize appropriate channels of communication, identify practice limitations, and seek assistance appropriately. The nurse integrates current trends, changes in healthcare delivery, and principles of community based care.
In the role as a member within the discipline of nursing, the Associate Degree graduate provides evidence of a personal and professional commitment to self-growth, to the growth of the nursing profession and to the growth of nursing practice. The nurse practices within the legal and ethical standards of the State ofNew Jersey.
Nursing Program Objectives and Competencies
In order to develop Program Objectives/Competencies, nursing faculty identified the components of the Program Philosophy and Purposes that provide a foundational framework for the objectives/competencies. In addition, as part of the ongoing process, the literature was reviewed in order to ensure that program objectives/competencies reflected the scope of practice of entry-level Associate Degree nurses, legal requirements and contemporary beliefs of the profession. Guided by these beliefs and principles, the Program of Nursing at Raritan Valley Community College will prepare a nurse who will:
Function as a Provider of Care
Function as a Manager of Care
- Integrate holistic human needs to provide safe and effective nursing care.
- Demonstrate critical thinking to assess client situations and perform clinical decision making.
- Collaborate appropriately with members of the health care team
- Construct therapeutic interventions using the nursing process.
- Integrate principles of growth anddevelopment across the lifespan
- Utilize teaching/learning principles to improve outcomes when caring for client at different levels of wellness
- Utilize and maintain clinical practicestandards when planning and delivering care.
- Synthesize concepts of community-based care in the promotion and maintenance of health
- Integrate concepts of health caredelivery systems in the contemporary society to deliver effective care
- Employ concepts of current trends in health care when planning and delivering health care
- Communicate effectively to meet the health care needs of diverse populations Function as a member within the Profession of Nursing Employ ethical behaviors based on the Code of Ethics for Nurses when providing care.
- Implement caring behaviors which respect the values, customs, and culture of diverse populations
- Engage in activities for professional development, self growth, and life long learning.
- Demonstrate accountability by following the legal guidelines for professional practice in the Rules and Regulations of the New Jersey Board of Nursing.
Conceptual Framework of the Nursing Program
The conceptual framework of the program is based on the central theme of holism, with the core concepts of the role of the nurse as provider of care, manager of care, and member within the profession of nursing providing the functional processes for nursing practice. There are 15 content objectives/competencies which are integrated throughout the curriculum: accountability, caring behaviors, clinical practice standards, collaboration, communication, critical thinking skills, community based care, ethical behaviors, growth and development, health care delivery, holistic human needs, self growth and awareness, teaching, and therapeutic interventions.
Purpose of the Nursing Program
The nursing program of Raritan Valley Community College exists to:
- Promote educational excellence through the provision of a balanced and current curriculum, which combines general education courses, courses in the physical, social and behavioral sciences, arts and humanities as well as established nursing principles, concepts and interventions, as evidenced by the following benchmarks:
- Matriculated students in the Nursing program will maintain a nursing program graduation rate of 70%
- Graduates of the program will achieve an aggregate pass rate on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) of 80%
- Graduates of the program will report satisfaction with the program of learning at a rate of 90% on the graduate survey
- Maintenance of accreditation from the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission, Inc
- Maintenance of accreditation from the New Jersey State Board of Nursing
- Meet the health care needs of the community by providing entry-level nurses prepared to participate in health care settings as members of the health care team, as evidenced by the following benchmark:
- Graduates of the program will achieve a 70% job placement rate as a professional registered nurse within six months of successful completion of the NCLEX-RN.